Since leafy greens are so incredibly good for you I’m always on the lookout for recipes where large piles of them are incorporated in delicious ways. I find Swiss chard especially friendly. It’s sturdier than spinach, more tender than kale, and it isn’t bitter like some greens can be. Plus you can eat the stems which add nice texture and color to the dish.
Here’s a great example of what I’m talking about. The flavorful sauce in this dish disguises the fact that you’re actually eating lots of great-for-you Swiss chard. This recipe was adapted from a recipe on Cook’s Illustrated, one of my favorite cooking websites.
This recipe is stew-like and tastes good with something to hold the sauce. Since we’re steering clear of noodles, I served this with my Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes. A health and flavor-boosting suggestion: homemade chicken broth really ups the ante here. You get amazing health benefits (see my post) and the sauce tastes that much better.
Please don’t be put off by the anchovies in this recipe. Trust me on this, even if anchovies totally gross you out, you don’t taste them in this recipe – they just add depth to the sauce. Also, anchovies are extremely good for you. The bones are so tiny that they get eaten, providing many important nutrients. They are rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc.
- 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 9)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, refined coconut oil, or butter
- 1 ½ large onions, halved and sliced thin (about 3 cups)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 large garlic cloves, chopped fine
- 1 can anchovy fillets, drained
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
- 2 cups Homemade Chicken Broth or the best canned broth you can find
- ¼ cup dry red wine
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 pound Swiss chard, rinsed
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- salt to taste
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350°.
- Heat oil in a large pot oven-proof pot with a cover (also called a Dutch oven) on medium-high heat. Add half the chicken thighs and lightly brown on both sides, about 10-12 minutes. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining thighs.
- Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (OK if lightly browned a little), about 5-7 minutes. Stir in tomato paste. Add garlic and anchovies and cook for a minute, smashing up anchovies. Stir in tomatoes, chicken broth, red wine, red pepper, and thyme. Scrape brown bits off the bottom of the pot as you stir.
- Add chicken and accumulated juices to pot. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Cover pot and place in the oven. Cook until chicken is tender, about 40 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking prepare the Swiss chard. Stack a few leaves on your cutting board. Starting at the leafy end, cut crosswise into about 1 1/2" strips. Cut stems crosswise into 1/2" pieces. Keep leaves separate from stems. Repeat until all the chard is cut.
- Also while the chicken is cooking, simmer the balsamic vinegar until it is reduced in half, to 1/4 cup. Set aside.
- When chicken is done remove pot from oven and place on stovetop. Bring to a simmer and add chard stems to pot. Cook until almost tender (stick with a fork to test). Add chard greens and cook until wilted, for 1-2 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and mix in. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve immediately.